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Seizing control of the window shades

Seizing control of the window shades

Old Aug 5, 2000, 11:47 am
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Seizing control of the window shades

Here's a new one (for me.) Recent flight on a 757 UA LAX-IAD I sat next to a man who tried to cajole me into taking his window seat (I had aisle). I politely refused. So whether in retribution or unconsciously ignoring my needs, he shuts both shades (while we were still at the gate at LAX) and had them closed the entire flight, including the bright and sunny portion.

I could have said something to him, but I wonder what you think:

Does the window seat mean you have total control over the shades? Is compromise possible? Will Betty really marry Fred (uh...just kidding)

I have never had a problem with this before. Most pax ask, and I've been politely asked to shut windows due to movies, the sun directly blaring in, etc, and I've generally complied.

What say you? Who controls dem shades?
richard is offline  
Old Aug 5, 2000, 12:20 pm
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He could have been afraid or nervous to fly and did not want to gaze out over the sights at 37,000.

The only time I will ask that someone shut the shades is during a lightning storm.

I don't think they belong to anyone. I think that the 2 or 3 people in a row can just come to an agreement if there is problem or concern.
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Old Aug 5, 2000, 12:38 pm
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Interesting observation WebCrawler.

That was my first reaction as well.
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Old Aug 5, 2000, 1:13 pm
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Agreed. He also could have been avoiding the heat you sometimes get from the windows. Or he could have been sensitive to light for some reason.

But, to answer your question, I don't think the airlines have any written policy on who controls the window shade. But if I were asked for my vote, I would say it belongs to the window seat passenger. But I would hope it would be a consensus of the wishes of the seatmates.

Ultimatly, members of the cabin crew do have the authority to control any activity or dispute within the cabin as it relates to aircraft equipment and it's use.

[This message has been edited by PremEx (edited 08-05-2000).]
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Old Aug 5, 2000, 2:11 pm
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Generally speaking, I think the window seat should have control of the window shade, just as the person with the aisle seat gets to extend his/her leg into the aisle. On the other hand, I am usually happy to comply with any requests from my neighbors. The only exceptions to who controls the shade are during takeoff/landing (up), movies (down), and when the pilot says "if you look over the left/right side, you'll see..." (up). At other times, as others have mentioned, I think it is unfair to the window-seat occupant to keep the shade up, especially if the sun is glaring.
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Old Aug 5, 2000, 3:17 pm
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Who controls the window shade?

When I sit in the window seat, I do.
When I sit in the window seat and my wife sits in the aisle seat, she does.
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Old Aug 5, 2000, 11:54 pm
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Originally posted by WebCrawler:
The only time I will ask that someone shut the shades is during a lightning storm.
What? Those are the best.

My all-time favorite was on an ABQ-DEN flight, as soon as we got past the Sandia mountains: cloud-to-cloud flashes every second, and several intense ground strikes every minute for something like 20 minutes.

The next best was sitting on the tarmac at ORD; we had just left the gate, and the pilot came on the P.A. and said there'd be a brief delay (and yes, we could turn our cell phones on and start yakking). About five minutes later the show began.

And I had window seats both times!
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Old Aug 6, 2000, 3:23 am
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I agree. Twenty years ago I was flying MIA-STT in clear air and we flew over some Bahama type islands at 35,000 feet that had thunder clouds over them at about 10,000 feet.

What a spectacle to see the lightning bolts shooting to earth miles below!
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Old Aug 6, 2000, 3:06 pm
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When I fly, I insist on a window seat (with the shade up of course). If I can't get a plane without in-flight entertainment (those choices are getting more rare), I still keep the window shade up during the movie. No problems with that so far.

Geez, if I wanted to see a movie, I would go to a movie theater, not an airport. Can't anyone read anymore?
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Old Aug 6, 2000, 4:38 pm
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Interesting topic and I would agree with most that if I had a window seat, which is my preference, if asked by a seatmate, I would comply with thier wishes.

Another, similar topic can be that of the air valves, I'm unsure of thier real name. I was on a flight from DFW to IAD yesterday that many pax found to be too cold for thier comfort. I felt the opposite and had by air blower on, as did the pax in the seat across from me. After the FA discovered that there were no more blankets, the pax in the seat in front of me reached over her seat and turned off all three air blowers and asked the woman next to her to do the same, although she did not comply.

I think in this case it's a little more clear, since there are usually 2-3 air blowers in a row, one for each passenger, but was it right for her to expect others to turn them off simply because she was cold and all the blankets were taken?
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Old Aug 6, 2000, 4:52 pm
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I tend to think it is up to the window passenger to control it. Those few times I get stuck with a window seat, I try to be considerate of my fellow passenger. If it is sunny, I keep the shade down a bit, but no more than I can look out.

L-1011 is offline  
Old Aug 6, 2000, 5:12 pm
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I hate it when someone reads over my shoulder when I type

I was going to add that some FA's specifically points out that the shades have to be up during take-off and landing. What is the purpose of this and why isn't it announced every time?

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Old Aug 6, 2000, 6:05 pm
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One reason could be that the cabin is supposed to be in the ambient light for the time of day at t/o and landing - so if there is any need for evacuation the passenegers don't have to adjust (their eyes). As I understand it, that is also why the cabin is darkened for a take-off or landing at night.
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Old Aug 8, 2000, 4:25 am
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Without being too grim, I thought the shades were up on t/o and landing so the emergency services could see into the cabin if necessary. Sorry a horrible thought, but runs through my mind each time. Anybody able to give an explanation from qualified experience ? In fact how many of our FT'ers are current/former crew ?
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Old Aug 8, 2000, 4:51 am
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Interesting Point Graeham/GK

ON some flights the F-A's come around and tell the passengers NOT to lower the shades and like you said for safety reasons.

I find this expecially on the transcoms and the flights over water.

Once the flights take off, the captain says you can lower the shades if you wish.

One thing I wish a passenger would do is ASK me if I want the shade lowered. Sometimes I would like especially if it's too sunny.

Once I politely asked if I could lower the shade and the woman said "Well I want it open and it's my seat."

She put shades on and went to sleep. I was afraid to lean over and close the shade so I had to work with sunglasses on the whole flight. Fear of AIR RAGE.
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